Psychological therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder
BJP 2000, 177:144-148.
Access the most recent version at DOI
To break this down into lay language...
HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary axis) hippocampal volume, and endogenous opioid function are technical terms that describe total adrenal burnout. Burnout is the end result of the body being trapped too long in fight-flight mode-also known as sympathetic arousal.
My research and books have focused on this very mechanism as it relates to unresolved relationship conflict, which also causes the body to get stuck in chronic fight-flight mode.
Eventually, in the case of ongoing relationship conflict, the body can’t escape the chemical imbalance cycle.
The same mechanism happens with PTSD…only worse.
When in war, the body must remain in a state of hyper-vigilance.
What we’re now discovering is that the chemicals excreted in the face of trauma don’t turn off on their own. The body literally gets locked in overdrive. Tragically, even after vets come home, the body doesn’t easily power down or repair.
And, what’s even more shocking, is the fact that time doesn’t fix this imbalance. In fact, the imbalance gets worse over time because most vets are so wired they don’t sleep properly. This means they are constantly running on overdrive and producing more and more of these “bad” chemicals.
Here’s the key point: All this stress causes a massive depletion of magnesium in the body. Magnesium (Mg) is a key mineral involved with many bodily functions.
And, here's the next important fact: Cutting edge research shows that low magnesium causes HPA axis imbalance.
Let me say this again, the stress of war causes the body to be drained of Mg. And, it is low Mg that causes HPA axis imbalance. And, HPA axis imbalance is a major cause of PTSD.
Here's the exciting news: According to the latest research, Mg reverses the chemical imbalance that induces PTSD!
Neuropharmacology. 2012 Jan; 62(1): 304–312. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.07.027
Magnesium Deficiency Induces Anxiety and HPA Axis Dysregulation: Modulation by Therapeutic Drug Treatment
S.B. Sartori,∗ N. Whittle, A. Hetzenauer,
and N. Singewald
This is such exciting news because we now have the knowledge of how to alleviate or heal PTSD and help restore the health of every vet who suffers.
(Editor’s note: Other minerals are also involved in the healing process.)
One final point...because magnesium doesn’t properly absorb when ingested orally, it is best applied via the skin. This is why transdermal magnesium is a lifesaver. I literally have a love affair with the stuff.
I’ve seen incredible and rapid miracles when the vet I love applied the trans-dermal magnesium to his skin.
His last tour was 14 years ago, and he hasn’t slept properly since coming home. After only one application, he was out like a light!